Chapter%208 - OPTIONAL POL 413 assignment for extra credit...

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OPTIONAL POL 413 assignment for extra credit points: Complete the exercises in this chapter. Type up your answers to Exercise 8.1, Exercise 8.2, and Exercise 8.3. Refer to "Sample Workbook Assignment" on Blackboard to see how you should format your answers. If you choose to do this assignment, your answers are due at the beginning of class on Monday, November 15th. (Group work is not allowed. Each student should do his or her own work. If students have any questions, please contact Prof. Clawson.) 8 8 S UPPORT FOR C IVIL L IBERTIES The nation is on the brink of declaring war with a foreign power. Fear has swept through the land: fear of war, fear of foreign nationals within the United States sympathizing with the enemy, fear of dissent by U.S. citizens, and fear of defeat. In response, the U.S. Congress passes laws giving the president power to expel foreign citizens deemed dangerous and making it a crime to publish inaccurate or scandalous material critical of the government. When the acts reach the president’s desk, he receives advice from many quarters. His cabinet members encourage him to sign the laws. The first lady concurs with the cabinet, arguing that the laws would “contribute as much to the peace and harmony of our country as any measure, and in times like the present, a more careful and attentive watch ought to be kept over foreigners.” The vice president disagrees, and, over dinner one evening, tries to convince the president not to sign: 1
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Vice president: By these measures some within your party hope to silence the opposition . . . Why blacken your fragile reputation by an assault on the freedoms for which we both fought. Do you intend to ship out the entire [foreign] population of the United States, along with any other luckless soul who happens to voice a contrary opinion? President: Well, if that contrary opinion threatens to divide the nation at a time when we must stand united, then, yes, I will do just that . . . these war measures will protect us from insurrection and subversion. Vice president: There is no war. President: And that is the principle behind these measures, the prevention of war. Vice president: You cannot protect the nation by attacking the right of every man to speak freely without fear. You’re trampling on the Constitution. States will have no alternative but to resist these measures, which are an assault on the liberty of their people. President: The people’s representatives demanded these acts. Would you have me deaf to the voice of the people? The year was 1798, the president John Adams, the first lady Abigail Adams, and the vice president Thomas Jefferson. The laws were the Alien and Sedition Acts. Adams did indeed sign these acts, although the feared-for war against France never occurred. The conversation between 2
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Adams and Jefferson might not have occurred either. The dialogue is fictionalized, taken from the 2008 Home Box Office (HBO) miniseries John Adams. Yet the portrayal of the debate is
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This note was uploaded on 02/19/2011 for the course POL 413 taught by Professor Clauson during the Fall '10 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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Chapter%208 - OPTIONAL POL 413 assignment for extra credit...

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